Happy Wednesday everyone! Today I wanted to share with you all how to achieve and maintain that perfect summer glow without exposing your skin to sun damage.
My love for self tanners started when I was diagnosed with Melanoma at the age of 20. At that time, tanning beds were all the rage and skin cancer awareness was not what it is today. Wanting to protect my skin but also wanting that glorious tan that everyone else was rocking, left me on the hunt for the best and safest way to achieve that.
With all the options on the market today, it can be overwhelming and intimidating to know where to start and which ones to try. Every self tanner makes promises and (take it from me) they don’t always keep them.
Being a religious sunless tanner user for the past 10 years, I have tried them all and that is why I thought I would share with you the best sunless tanner (in my opinion), along with some tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way.
IT’S ALL IN THE PREP…
First things first… prep your skin! This is crucial. Nobody wants a splotchy, flaking tan. I use the St. Tropez Tan Enhancing Body Polish and love it. It’s a fine grit body polish so it really exfoliates your skin well. You always want to shave and exfoliate before applying any self tanner.
I always apply a little bit of lotion to my elbows and knees (I do not do this when I get a spray tan, ONLY when I am applying self tanner). This helps dilute the self tanner and provides a more even look. If you have ever noticed how your knees and elbows can get quite a bit darker, this helps prevent that.
NOW FOR THE GOOD STUFF….
I use the St. Tropez Self Tan Express Advanced Bronzing Mousse. Of all the self tanners I have tried over the years, this is by far the BEST and here’s why…
- It is a dark mousse, which makes it very easy to apply. You can see where you are applying it, which helps you make sure you are not missing any spots.
- You can actually see results after the first use. Nothing annoys me more than when I spend the time applying a self tanner and I see no results. This tanner is buildable so I will usually apply this stuff a couple nights in a row if I’m looking to achieve a darker tan.
- It gives you a nice sun-kissed tan, so think bronze, not orange. You can leave the orange for the oompa loompa’s.
- It dries quickly and smells good. Those two points are more important than you think!
Here are some tips I’ve learned along the way that will help maintain the color of your new tan.
- Use a body wash/soap that is sulfate free! This is important because sulfate can break down the color of your tan. I use Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap.
- Make sure to pat dry after getting out the shower. Be careful not to rub when drying off as this can be rough and lift the color.
- Moisturize. This is important to do every day, even if you don’t shower that day. This will help keep your tan from flaking and drying out. Also certain areas tend to absorb color faster and the lotion will act as a barrier that will prevent that.
- After I achieve the level of tan I’m looking for I use the St. Tropez Gradual Tan Classic Everyday Body Lotion to maintain the color. I will use this a few days after to maintain the color of my tan. And bonus, this lotion is very moisturizing. I actually took this on vacation with us to Colorado.
* I always leave this self tanner on overnight. It claims that you can achieve a deep, dark tan after 3 hours but I have not found that to be entirely true, at least for my initial application. I like to put this on at night right before bed and leave it on overnight.
* I have found that this self tanner will transfer onto your sheets, it claims it won’t but I have found that it does. It is the only downside to this product but honestly I love the natural look that I can achieve with this product that it’s not a hang up for me. I have always had it come out of anything it has transferred to but I wanted to share that with you because I always want to be 100% honest with my recommendations.
* Most importantly, if you are going to use this product make sure to use a mitt to apply it! I use the Ulta Sunless Mitt and love it. It is the cheapest of the mitts that they sell and it is great because you can wash it and reuse it. I typically stock up and buy a couple at a time. I wash my mitt after every use using the Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap. I will get quite a few uses out of it before I find that it needs to be replaced.
* I have the St. Tropez Self Tan Classic Bronzing Face Lotion and truthfully I am indifferent about it. Some people love it and some hate it. I have seen little results when I use it. I am not sure if I would purchase it again or not. I haven’t used it for that long and will keep you posted on if I love end up loving or hating it.
As you can see I am a huge St. Tropez fan. I know it can be a little pricey compared to other products but in my opinion, it’s 100% worth it! Have you used St. Tropez? Do you love it as much as I do? Or is there another self tanner that has your vote? I’d love to hear about it!